GMR chair expects arbitration proceedings to be concluded by May

GMR Group Chairman GM Rao expects arbitration proceedings in its dispute with the Government of Maldives to be concluded by May next year, India media has reported.

Rao was quoted whilst commenting on the infrastructure company’s bid to secure an airport development deal in the Phillipines.

A record-breaking US$5oo million deal to re-develop Malé’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport was cancelled by the Maldives Government in late2012.

On November 27, then-President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s cabinet declared the agreement to be ‘void ab initio’ – invalid from the outset – ordering the developer to leave.

GMR subsequently took the case to a Singapore court of arbitration, claiming US$1.4billion in compensation – a figure that eclipses the Maldives’ state budget.

During the second round of procedural hearings in August this year, the tribunal acceded to GMR’s request to split the proceedings into firstly determining liability, before quantifying the amount of compensation to be paid separately.

Minivan News understands that the tribunal agreed this would simplify examination and quantification of what was effectively three claims being made in the hearing: GMR-MAHB’s claim for compensation as per the termination clause of its concession agreement, its parallel claim for loss of profits over the lifespan of the agreement due to its termination, and the government’s counter-claim for restitution should the tribunal decide in its favour.